Saturday, 16 January 2016

Iceland 2.14: Glaumbær and Sauðárkrókur

We left Kerlingarfjöll around 8:00 to continue our crossing of the highlands, with the eventual destination being Akureyri.  According to the guide book, just off the F35 there was a farm which was - and I quote - "the real deal", so we decided to stop there for second breakfasts.  Sadly it was shut, so we failed to obtain any deal, real or otherwise.  A little bit further on we found a large hydro-electric dam with a parking area and impressive views.  No sooner had we stopped than a large coach with Votre Expert Francophone plastered on the outside turned up.  Oh goody: a load of grenouilles, so we beat a hasty retreat.

Eventually we hit tarmac, which was quite a shock after two solid days of driving on (pretty rough) gravel roads.  Once the novelty of driving faster than 50km/h had worn off, we headed towards Varmahlíð with a planned detour to the museum at Glaumbær.  There was another coach there - this time full of Germans - but thankfully it was just leaving.

Part of the museum had been turned into a café, so - having been cheated of our second breakfasts - we decided we deserved elevenses instead.  Very fine they were too; and the museum wasn't bad either.

Unless one manages to pre-empt the inevitable, Icelanders seem to assume that everyone likes cake with a large helping of shaving foam on the side of the plate.  I was too late to stop it on this occasion...

Glaumbær is a complex of traditional turf houses, all linked together internally.  Only the fronts are made of wood - a very precious commodity - with the rest of the building being constructed of earth sods, laid in a herring-bone pattern, and a grass roof.

A few shots from the interior of the museum.

There was also a rather fine church on site, but I didn't have time to set up the tripod.  The interior pictures are hand-held HDRs, taken on the Fuji and processed later in Lightroom.

When we returned to the car park, a new vehicle had appeared.  It was one of the fleet of small, and slightly eccentric, camper vans from Kuku Campers.  They are very well equipped inside (if a little cosy, it has to be said).

Since the guide book had failed us is in the morning, we decided to give it a second chance.  According to the aforementioned tome, in the town of Sauðárkrókur there was - and, again I quote - "an adorable bakery"; well, this had to be the ideal location for lunch.

The guide book redeemed itself on this occasion, and the bakery was - indeed - adorable.  The town (Sauðárkrókur literally means "sheep corner") was nothing to write home about, however, but it did have a rather magnificent church (locked).